Eleven institutions from eleven European countries cooperate as part of the European Photography Platform’s Futures project in order to discover emerging talents and to introduce them on an international level, especially to the European art market. As a platform partner, the Capa Center selected five young authors during Budapest Portfolio Review 2019 who joined Unseen Amsterdam this September. Get to know the Futures talents of Capa Center!
Adél Koleszár (1986) is originally from Hungary, where she graduated with a Masters in Fine Art Photography at the MOME University, after receiving a BA degree in Social Sciences in Budapest. In 2013 she arrived to Mexico thanks to the SRE Artist Residency Program 2013 where she was mainly working in the past years. In 2014 her project on contemporary religions in Mexico was selected as finalist by Magnum Photos& Ideastap Award, in 2015 she was the winner of the Budapest Portfolio Prize, in 2016-17 receiver of the Pécsi József Photography Award which supports the work of young Hungarian photographers. She was the solo exhibitor of the Discovery Show section of the Fotofestiwal Lodz, her book „New Routes of Faith” was shortlisted on the Unseen Photography Dummy Award. Was exhibited and published widely in her country and internationally, amongst in Berlin, Mexico City, New York, Arles, Vienna, and featured on Foam Spotlight, Vice Mexico, Fotografia Magazine, Der Grief. In 2018 she was part of the British Journal of Photography Ones to Watch selection, nominated for Joop Swart Masterclass and been fellow of The Robert Capa Grand Prize, in 2019 nominated for the FOAM Paul Huf Award.
When and how did you first get acquainted with photography? When and how did it become important for you?
I started taking photographs in secondary school, when I was enrolled to the Kisképző (the Secondary School of Visual Arts, Budapest, Hungary). Instead of graphic design, I was admitted to photography; I didn’t know much about it, except for that I sometimes took some pictures when we went on holidays. 🙂 That is where I started learning; I liked working in the lab, I liked that I had a way of visualizing reality the way I perceive it. This is what really captured me, but it took a lot of work for me before I slowly started to believe that I could do this, and I could actually be good at it. It became important for me also because it moved me out of my comfort zone, and I had to place myself into new, unfamiliar situations. Together with photography, I also had to learn communication and dealing with people, which is still an important aspect of photography for me.
How do you see your relationship to photography? How do you use this medium?
I consider photography to be a visualization method that works with the materials found in the world around us, mapping them into images in certain ways. I look at it just like at any other arts medium, except that it works with visualizing reality, or the material world, in one form or another, but of course this has also changed a lot in the past years.
Generally, which are the most important questions for you, and how do you reflect on these in your works?
I’m usually interested in social issues, and in my works I have started focusing on the fundamental questions of the human existence and the human soul. Whichever topic I choose – which have been mostly tied to Mexico in the past years – I like to present it in a peculiar, not necessarily graphical way, but rather on an emotional level. I also try to use symbols and concepts that are easy to understand for anyone, and this way to reflect upon issues like violence, poverty, death, faith, hope, and bring them closer across distant realities, because I think they keep us all occupied to some extent, regardless of where we are geographically.
What do you think about the situation and the future of photography?
Everything has tremendously accelerated, with astoundingly numerous images, authors and orientations everywhere. I think all this is very positive: there are lots of opportunities, with more and more platforms open up for us to present our work. Even if only on Instagram, it can reach anybody there. Tons of competitions, sometimes they are even a little difficult to keep track of. 🙂 I think that the Internet has been quite helpful for creative professionals.
What are you working on, and what are your short-term plans?
I’d like to bring more diversity into my work, to deal with Hungarian topics as well, and also to somehow present my inner world. Many things have happened to me in the past years, and especially in this one. In the meantime, I neglected my own spiritual, physical, and emotional life as well as that of those who are close to me. I undertook too much and fell apart – which has surfaced by now. This is what I’m trying to restore at present, hoping that the pain can be manifested in my images, bringing me absolution. I finally compiled a book from the material prepared for the Capa Grand Prize Hungary, which I would also like to continue in the near future. Additionally, I would like to do more commissioned works, which come with a smaller emotional load than my previous series – and to bring my creative, workplace and private life in balance.
Selection from Adél Koleszár’s photos